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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Pistons Aplenty: 1942

Pistons Aplenty: 1942

February 1942. "Aluminum casting. A woman's place in this large Midwest aluminum factory is on the inspection line. She's giving a final checkup on these aluminum pistons which are destined for use by America's armed forces. Destination of the finished aluminum products is kept secret. They'll probably end up as jeep or airplane engine parts. Aluminum Industries Inc., Cincinnati." Medium format nitrate negative by Alfred Palmer for the OWI. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Washington Pistons

I'd suspect that those are tank pistons rather than aircraft or jeep. Willys MB or Ford GP 'jeeps" had 4 cylinders with less than 130 CID. Perhaps these went into a Sherman M4A2 diesel powered tank used by the Marines.


The pistons appear to be for a slow RPM engine, diesel maybe, because of the long skirts. Also they must now go to a lathe and have "ring lands" cut in them.


I love her coiffed hair, possibly hand-stitched collar, pretty puff-sleeve dress, and kitchen style apron. She looks like a perfect little housewife.. until you notice her workman's gloves. Hey, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.


These look rather big for a Jeep engine.

Zollner Pistons

I see that these pistons have "Zollner Heavy Duty" cast in them. Zollner Pistons of Fort Wayne, Indiana was a (the?) leading piston manufacturer in the USA, and was bought by a German manufacturing firm in 1999. Fred Zollner founded the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons basketball team, which later was called the Fort Wayne Pistons, and is now the Detroit Pistons.

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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